Leading U.S. entertainment magazine The Hollywood Reporter announced the impending launch of its first international edition. The Hollywood Reporter: Russian Edition will focus on Russia’s burgeoning entertainment industry — its power players, trends, celebrities and breaking news — as well as the Russian market’s impact on Hollywood today. The magazine hits Russian newsstands in March 2012, with an online component, www.thehollywoodreporter.ru, slated for release in the coming months.
THR: Russian Edition will be published as a glossy monthly magazine with 80,000 copies printed each run. The magazine is backed by a group of investors that includes Nikita Mikhalkov Studio Three T, the film studio headed by Academy Award-winning Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov. The same investment group also financed the successful license of Russia’s version of Billboard magazine, which was launched in 2007. Billboard Russia offers the latest in music entertainment news to 60,000 print readers and 350,000 unique visitors to its website, which is published in partnership with MSN.com.
The Russian THR will be closely styled after the The Hollywood Reporter, with the Russian team taking guidance from editorial director Janice Min as well as design cues from creative director Shanti Marlar. THR’s international news editor Kevin Cassidy will coordinate with the Russian team on breaking news.
With the Russian entertainment industry seeing a hockey-stick increase in its rate of growth, The Hollywood Reporter’s ability to carry feature and breaking news stories from THR: Russian Edition will offer it a unique edge in covering one of the most important new entertainment markets in the world. THR: Russian Edition will also run key editorial content from The Hollywood Reporter, providing a fresh international audience for the magazine’s leading stories.
The Russian box office is exploding thanks in part to the proliferation of new movie theaters. With 160 million domestic and imported film tickets sold last year, Russian box office sales for American films are now approaching the $1 billion mark — a figure that represents a twofold increase from just five years ago, according to The Economist. Russia is also responsible for driving some of the strongest 3D movie sales of any country in the world. DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots, for example, earned north of $50 million in Russia in the fall of 2011.
“The Hollywood Reporter: Russian Edition represents the return of high quality field-reporting to the Russian entertainment market. We will offer readers a rare behind-the-scenes look into the Russian entertainment industry along with in-depth features and hard-hitting market analysis, ” says THR: Russian Edition editor-in-chief Ivan Kudryavtsev.
According to editorial director Maria Lemesheva, “THR: Russian Edition is going to be a game changer for the industry here. Our Business Section supplement will provide industry readers with news, market statistics, polls, sales figures and even forecasts for the Russian film and television industry.”
Along with the Russian film industry,the local television market has also enjoyed soaring success in recent years. It currently hosts 330 television channels with most broadcasting 24 hours a day, and President Dmitry Medvedev has set a goal for all 143 million Russian citizens to have access to at least 26 digital television channels by 2015.
The global expansion marks a major milestone for The Hollywood Reporter brand, which was relaunched with a new editorial outlook, a weekly format, and revamped design little more than a year ago. Since then, The Hollywood Reporter has risen to the forefront. With over 5 million monthly unique visitors to its website, it now sees more online traffic than its three closest competitors combined.